Kylian Mbappe Reminds Footballers Of Samuel Umtiti’s 2018 World Cup Goal Amid Huge Criticism Ahead Of Quarter Final Clash With Portugal

The 2018 France team is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most effective international squads assembled in recent history. The most attractive part of the squad was undoubtedly the mix of youth and experience in attack, but France’s defense proved to be the real hero during the FIFA World Cup triumph that year. Former Barcelona, ​​Samuel Umtiti has won many plaudits campaigning to showcase his defensive prowess.

Umtiti, 24 at the time, was one of the hottest prospects in soccer. The left-footed centre-back, however, suffered a knee injury leading into the magnificent event, but the Frenchman was determined not to lose his place in Didier Deschamps’ squad. Together with Raphael Varane, Umtiti formed a solid back line that conceded only six goals during the World Cup.

Samuel Umtiti’s greatest moment with the French National Team

The round of 16 and the quarter finals in Russia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup saw France play two very challenging and demanding encounters against Argentina and Uruguay respectively. As the semi-finals approached, Belgium was to be the next hurdle in the French mission, which promised to be a tight contest, with little room for error.

In the 51ˢᵗ minute, Samuel Umtiti rose high to head in Antoine Griezmann’s corner past Thibaut Courtois. It was only the third goal of Umtiti’s international career and by far the most memorable. In addition to the goal, Umtiti did not deviate from his defensive duties with seven clearances, and two duels won. The goal proved to be enough to secure Belgium’s first defeat in nearly two years and also take France to the coveted World Cup final.

The downside of Umtiti’s sacrifice at the 2018 World Cup

France was later crowned the World Champions in 2018 with a 4-2 win over Croatia in the final. The time following that win, however, saw Umtiti appear in just six more games for Les Bleuswithout hope that that number will increase. “Everybody knows that he played with an injury. Nobody should forget what he did with the selection because after that, he had some difficult years”French captain, Kylian Mbappe was full of praise for his friend during the ongoing Euros.

Samuel Umtiti and Kylian Mbappe
Samuel Umtiti and Kylian Mbappe (Credit: @equipedefrance/X)

Barcelona and Umtiti saw their relationship take an ugly turn in 2019, a time when injuries continued to plague Samuel Umtiti’s playing time. Finally, in 2022, Leece provided an escape to Umtiti, which was a necessary one-year stint for the Frenchman. Lille welcomed the one-time national hero in 2023, but also struggled with his recurring fitness problems. The future might look bleak for Umtiti, but a few games on the trot may be beneficial for him to enjoy the twilight of his career on his own terms.

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